Happy Holidays!

Ernst & Haas would like to wish you and your family a wonderful and safe holiday! We hope your day is filled with what makes you most happiest!

We will be closed tomorrow, December 24 in observance of Christmas Eve. We will re-open on Monday, December 26 with our regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Happy Holidays!

Toy Drive Ignites A Spirit Of Giving

Thank you to those that participated in the Spark of Love Toy Drive! Because of our efforts, we were able to hand over a bin full of brand new toys to the Long Beach Fire Department!

It was a pleasure coming together and collecting toys for kids and families in need throughout Long Beach. Nothing gets us more in the holiday spirit than knowing we’ve helped others! Happy Holidays!

Wrapping Up The Season

More than 12 tons of snow will cover the grounds of Veterans Park for this year's Snow Day!

Christmas is only 11 days away, and if you aren’t already stressed by the pressures of completing your shopping and hosting your annual holiday party, you most likely will be…very soon! So take a breather and enjoy the season! Here are some fun events in Long Beach that require nothing of you other than pure participation:

Naples Boat Parade

December 17, 2011, 6 – 8 p.m.

Napals Canals in Long Beach

www.naplesca.org

The Nutcracker

December 17, 2011, 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m & December 18, 2011, 12 p.m. & 4 p.m.

Long Beach Terrace Theatre, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. in Long Beach

www.longbeachballet.com/nutcracker

Snow Day and Movie Night

December 26, 2011, 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Movie

Veterans Park, 101 E. 28th St. in Long Beach

www.longbeach.gov/district7/daisyparade.asp

What To Do BEFORE You Travel…

Have a trusted neighbor collect your mail for you while you're out of town.

Last week, we shared ways you can travel stress-free this holiday season. But before you board that plane, here are some things you need to take care of before leaving your home:

-Let credit card companies and the bank know that you are traveling and that there might be strange purchases in strange places. This helps them track what’s fraud and what’s not.

-If leaving pets at home, make sure to make kennel reservations, or have a neighbor, friend, or relative tend to them.

-Notify trusted neighbors that you will be out of town so they can keep an eye out for any unwanted activity. Also have them collect your mail if you’re not having it forwarded.

-Unplug small appliances, televisions, and computers. Also be sure to close and lock all doors, windows, and garages.

-Plan ahead for prescription refills and make sure any bills that are due while you’re gone are taken care of ahead of time.

-Remove unneeded credit cards and debit cards from your wallet, and replace with a copy of your passport, just in case you’re out of the country and your passport gets lost or stolen.

-Set up an outgoing message on your voicemail and email stating how long you will be gone and when you’ll return.

 

Stress-Free Holiday Traveling

Traveling during the holiday season doesn't have to be stressful!

Traveling over the holidays can be notoriously busy, expensive, and stressful, but the news isn’t all bad! Here are some tips – courtesy independenttraveler.com – to make holiday traveling a breeze:

• Avoid Peak Travel Dates. Because Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on Sundays this year, be aware that the Friday before and the Monday after will be extremely busy travel days. Also keep in mind that with each successive day, it gets a little busier and more expensive.  Bottom line: Travel off-peak whenever possible.

• Know Your Airports. Checking alternate airports is a pretty standard tactic, but actually choosing to go with an alternate airport can prove to be beneficial as their parking, rental cars, traffic to and from, and nearby hotels can save both time and money. Also, remember that smaller airports see fewer flights and, typically, fewer delays.

• Plot Connections Carefully. When booking flights, check for sufficient time during layovers, and build in some time for flight delays and weather woes. Particularly during the winter months, peak travel times often bring peak travel delays, and your connection is more likely to be jeopardized.

• Leave Early. During peak travel times, much of the trouble you’ll face lies on this side of the security check-in, from traffic jams and full parking lots to absent shuttles and long lines. Leave for the airport early to anticipate all the peripheral delays you may encounter.

• Pack Wisely. If possible, try packing everything into your carry-on without having to check any baggage. Keep in mind that most airlines are now charging travelers a fee for checking any bags on domestic flights.

• Use the Web. The latest self-service developments in online travel can be tremendous time-savers during peak travel times. Whenever possible, print your boarding passes at home or use check-in kiosks.

• Travel Early or Late in the Day. As a rule, airports are least congested at times when normal human beings would rather be at home or even asleep. Delays are far less likely for morning flights, and airports usually unclog as the afternoon and evening peak passes.

• Additional Tips:

-Gas up the night before you travel and give your cell phone a full charge.

-Take along books, magazines, etc. to help you get through delays. This is especially important when traveling with children.

-Have phone numbers for everything: your hotel, car rental agency, airline, friends and family at your destination, etc. This will help you avoid the cost of using directory assistance.

-If you’ll be using long-term airport parking, be sure to reserve yourself a spot ahead of time at an off-airport lot.

-Don’t wrap gifts, especially if you intend to carry them on the plane. Even in checked baggage, there is a strong chance they will be unwrapped for inspection by security personnel.

• Important TSA Regulations:

-Liquids and gels that are packed in carry-ons must be in individual containers of 3.4 ounces or less and placed inside one clear, quart-size, plastic, zip-top bag (only one bag permitted per passenger). This also applies to perfume, alcohol, liquid and gel-based cosmetics (i.e. foundation, mascara, lip gloss, etc.), and any other liquid or gel item. If more than 3.4 ounces of any liquid or gel is needed, it should be packed in your checked luggage.

-The above regulations do not apply to prescription medications and formula, but the TSA does prefer that those items are packed in their original labeled containers.

Ernst & Haas wished you happy and safe travels this holiday season!

Spark of Love Promotional!

In an effort to collect as many toys as possible for the Spark of Love Toy Drive, Ernst & Haas will waive application fees in exchange for donations of new, unwrapped toys ($10 value or more)! The promotion will end Friday, December 16. Only 1 application fee will be waived per group.

The Spark of Love Toy Drive is in partnership with the Long Beach Fire Department and services families and children in need throughout Long Beach.

So if you were thinking about renting from us, this is the time to do it! Just don’t forget to stop by your favorite store on your way to our office to purchase your toy donation!

Spark of Love Toy Drive

Donations of new, unwrapped toys are now being accepted for the Spark of Love Toy Drive!

Join the Long Beach Fire Department and Ernst & Haas Management Co. as we collect toys for the Spark of Love Toy Drive!

Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at any fire station and CVS throughout Long Beach, as well as our office – located at 4000 Long Beach Blvd. Ste. 105 in Long Beach – from now until December 19!

This is a great opportunity to give to those in need in our own community! We hope you partner with us in an effort to give kids the Christmas they deserve!

For more information, call our office at (562) 989-9835, or visit www.SparkOfLove.org.

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